Some lessons are best learned outside class. At Vanderbilt, our emphasis on community brings students, faculty, and staff together in a living and learning environment where scholarship and friendship thrive side-by-side.
Balance is key to any Vanderbilt student’s success. While the academics are challenging, our students still find time to take a break and enjoy their college experience. With more than 475 student organizations, intramural and club sports, the vibrant city of Nashville, and frequent concerts and guest lectures, you always have plenty of opportunities to recharge and stay inspired.
“I chose Vanderbilt because it has the perfect balance of academics and a lively student life. I wanted a school where I knew I would work hard and learn a lot, but also have fun, make friends, and get involved.”
Housing and Dining
The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons is composed of ten houses designed exclusively for first-year students and their faculty heads of house, a dining center, seminar/study rooms, generous public spaces, and endless opportunities for engagement, enrichment, and leadership.
The experiences while living on The Commons promote a sense of community, personal wellbeing, self-discovery, intellectual development, and cultural awareness—setting up students for the beginning of their journey through a Vanderbilt undergraduate education.
“Something that is ‘Common’ is something that is familiar, frequent, and ubiquitous. It is something that you can count on, something that happens every day. Whether it’s a quick smile and hello as you grab a coffee on the way to class, a longer conversation over a meal, or a late-night study session in close proximity to snacks, The Commons Center is our place for our community to grow and thrive.”
Following the first year, many students extend the dynamic living-learning experience of The Commons in upper-division residential colleges including Warren College, Moore College, E. Bronson Ingram College, Nicholas S. Zeppos College. Scheduled to open in fall 2022, Rothschild College is the newest of the residential colleges for upper-division students along West End Avenue as part of Vanderbilt’s FutureVU initiative. Other residential options for upper-division students include suite-style, apartment-style, or themed housing.
Dining together creates a sense of place and kinship, not only sustaining our bodies, but our community and environment as well. Vanderbilt Campus Dining provides a key element of the residential college experience by serving high-quality, nutritious dining options, with award-winning chefs and culinary teams.
Diversity and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt, we celebrate our campus's rich diversity of identity, background, thought, and experience. Our residential community offers a unique academic and social experience, where students, faculty, and staff bring multiple perspectives and work together to make an impact.
In addition to enrolling students from myriad backgrounds, Vanderbilt fosters diversity and inclusion through a range of campus resources:
“Our mission includes finding, choosing, and enrolling talented and accomplished students who bring countless experiences and perspectives, and represent a broad array of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Our promise is to provide a residential educational experience that challenges our students to listen to many different perspectives and learn from each other. The result is a community that produces graduates who are ready to make an impact on the world.”
As the symbol for Southern cosmopolitan charm, Nashville knows how to shine on the international stage while retaining the hospitality that quickly turns new arrivals into locals. While you are as likely to hear hip-hop as honky-tonk country or discover an up-and-coming ethnic restaurant beside a classic Nashville meat-and-three, you can just as easily catch an NFL or NHL game, wander through an art exhibit, or take in the symphony, all practically on the same block.
“My friends and I are determined to explore some part of Nashville every weekend, whether it is a new restaurant or a fun music venue. I remember one ambitious Saturday, we wanted to do everything. In the morning, we hiked around Radnor Lake about 15 minutes from campus, got lunch at the Farmer’s Market Food Hall downtown, and then went to the Breakaway music festival that night.”
- #2 College City Gets High Marks, Princeton Review, 2021
- #2 U.S. Cities with the Best Job Market, Wall Street Journal, 2020
Health and Wellness
Vanderbilt supports student’s physical and emotional well-being through these campus resources:
- Center for Student Wellbeing
- University Counseling Center
- Student Health Center
- Student Care Coordination
- Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response
- David Williams II Student Recreation and Wellness Center
“From rock climbing walls and unlimited squat racks in the Recreation and Wellness Center to the free massages offered by the Center for Student Wellbeing during finals week, Vanderbilt does so much to enrich the physical and mental health of its students. With all aspects of my health in careful balance, I can use all my time to pursue my passions both inside and outside of the classroom.”
- 32 sport clubs
- 40+ intramural sports leagues
Sport is a proving ground for passion, discipline, focus, and determination. We turn out to support Vanderbilt’s sixteen varsity teams, who face some of the country’s fiercest opponents in the legendary SEC with the same focus and perseverance they bring to the classroom.
“The SEC sports are incredible! I've been to SEC Nation for football when it was live from the Ingram Commons, drummed my hands on the court during free throws in Memorial Gymnasium, and attended so many football, basketball, and soccer games.”
- 5 national team championships
- 35 SEC and league championships
Honor Code and Community Creed
The goal of our honor system has always been for all students to leave Vanderbilt as graduates and citizens of integrity. Members of each new Vanderbilt class assemble shortly after moving in for the Honor Code Signing Ceremony. You can see their signatures on display in Sarratt Student Center along with those of all the current undergraduates.
“Today I am going to give you two examinations, one in trigonometry and one in honesty. I hope you will pass them both, but, if you must fail one, let it be trigonometry, for there are many good men in this world today who cannot pass an examination in trigonometry, but there are no good men in the world who cannot pass an examination in honesty.”
Vanderbilt’s student-created Community Creed is a statement of the values we hold in common:
Academic – We strive to pursue intellectual knowledge with curiosity and humility. We engage in a partnership of learning and discovery, where the scholarly exploration of ideas is not only protected, but encouraged.
Neighborly – We strive to be ambassadors of goodwill within our campus and beyond. We serve, uplift, and empower the members of our global neighborhood.
Courageous – We strive to be courageous, acting with bold authenticity. We embrace taking risks, challenging assumptions, and persevering in the face of adversity.
Honest – We strive for honesty in our academic endeavors and relationships with others. We commit to integrity and accountability across all aspects of life—personally, professionally, and academically.
Open – We strive to openly engage with ideas, experiences, and with one another. We welcome every background and story through celebration of the diversity that enriches our common experience and active participation in constructive conversations about our differences.
Respectful – We strive to promote a culture of civility grounded in equity, inclusivity, and respect. We hold each other’s passions and perspectives in high regard, endeavoring to live a life of personal growth and service.